Anita Sulimanovic

Artist Statement

I am examining x-ray pictures that belong to my father, a radiologist. As I sit in his office I entertain myself by using leftover manila folders to create some of my first drawings. In this time, a time without the rich visual stimulation that we have today, these were rather powerful images; what seemed like a magical ability, to see through the skin and bones had perhaps predetermined my brain’s wiring and the way I will perceive the world around me. When I walk through the forest, I recognize similar patterns: in the roots of the trees, in the microscopic textures of plants.

As an art student, I underwent a very traditional art training in Eastern Europe and, as a part of it, I visited the pathology department of the medical center to examine human corpses, peeled skin with muscles underneath that we could not only touch but also stretch. Even though this transformative anatomy lesson was supposed to help the students learn to model a perfectly realistic human figure in clay, I was haunted by the patterns of muscles and their complicated shapes as well as by thoughts about the mortality and the sophisticated algorithms of our bodies. My first adventures to the world of personal expression started by building scenes of frozen human biology.

Perpetually intrigued and humbled by the nature and somewhat mimicking its ability to create complicated organisms, I use a broad range of art materials and processes. From drawing and photography, to performance, video and sound pieces, but most often sculpture and site-specific art. The materials I use are always strictly subordinate to the idea whether it is socio-political or about the symbolism of organic life. Most of my recent pieces use recycled materials and found objects, which includes anything from abandoned dog houses to test tubes to reclaimed fabric or materials collected from nature. What ignites my ideas is the process of articulating the chaotic world of abandoned materials, whether I try to emphasize their visual values or simulate new meanings.